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Portrait of Volunteers

Name: LAURENT Tamara Kim
Age: 24
Where from: France
Job / occupation: no job

Motivation to do volunteering:
To be useful in teaching and taking care of children. I wished also to discover a new culture, a new country in an efficient and practical way.

Which location (e.g. Goa) and / which project area (e.g. women empowerment) do you volunteer in? :
IDEX camp in Majorda, Goa. My projects areas were: Little Heaven DCC in Colva, Monte Hill English teaching and IDEX staff teaching

What volunteer work do you do exactly? Please give an example.
I taught the basis of English. For example I taught alphabet, simple words, nursery rhymes, colors, shapes. First in a theoretical way and then with exercises, songs and games

What was it like when you first started the volunteer work?
It was a real challenge because I never had experience with children, so I didn’t know what exactly I had to do. The IDEX team helped me a lot with everything and was always there to give me advices. It was also very nice because all the kids were just wonderful, eager to learn and happy to see us.

Was it difficult to adjust? If yes, what was difficult?
No, it was no really difficult because all the staff surrounded us all the time. They are always there to talk with the volunteers, to make our stay comfortable and nice. They are available any time to take care of us, and to answer the questions we could have.

What was / is the main challenge? Could it be solved? How?
The main challenge, as I said earlier was to have my first experience in teaching and with kids. It was solved easily with the help of the staff and project executives.

Do you feel you could / can contribute sth. with your volunteering during your stay?
I hope that I could be useful to the kids and to the staff. I did all my best to teach them the basis of English. It was a real pleasure to see that the student remembered what I taught them earlier. It was a really nice time with them, to prepare what they will learn in the next course.

What was your most special (best / worst / funniest / saddest et al) experience in your work area?
My worst and saddest moment in the work area was at Little Heaven DCC when the sister who held the orphanage hit the kids and said they were useless.

My best moments were for example: almost each morning when I walked into the class and when the students showed me how happy they were to see us. Also when my students could remember what I taught them earlier. I can’t say all the moment that I liked because all this experience was amazing.

What would you recommend s.o. who considers volunteering in India / what to be aware of / to keep in mind …?
I would say that they should always be aware of the difference of culture. They have to adjust to this new country and not to see this experience with European/ American eyes. You should observe it with a new view.

What should they expect / not expect?
They should expect an amazing and useful experience with kids in school, to meet really nice person and to discover a wonderful country.

Would you recommend any form of preparation? If yes, what kind?
I didn’t need special preparation. I’m not totally fluent in English but I was highly motivated to help and to teach what I can. All the documentation you could need is provided at the camp and if you need an help, all the IDEX team are here to advise the volunteers
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